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DTM NEWS 

Ekstrom confident of strong race

Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi DTM 2011

Mattias Ekstrom is confident of a strong race performance in Sunday's DTM round at Zandvoort, despite qualifying in a poor 16th spot.

The two-time champion said that after watching Gary Paffett's charge from the back of the grid to sixth place at the season-opening race at Hockenheim two weeks ago, he was expecting to move forward.

"I saw Gary's race on the TV and he got some good spots from his team-mates pretty easily," the Swede told AUTOSPORT.

"I'm pretty certain that my team-mates want some points for themselves, so it will be interesting. If I have the race performance, I'm sure I can make it up the order, For every point I get, it will be a beer tomorrow."

Ekstrom said that the Abt Audi squad had not been able to find the sweet spot of his A4 in qualifying, leading to his worst grid spot since the 2002 event at the Nurburgring.

He does, however, believe that the cause of the issue has now been identified and will be put right overnight.

"I did two laps that were really good for myself and I probably could only have squeezed one more tenth [of a second] out," he added. "It's the performance of the car that we're not happy about, because that was our true performance.

"We made sure we got out in the window where the track was quick, and the car was just slow: too slow to come to Q2. I've been in this championship long enough to know that when things are good, you're a superstar. When they're not, you look stupid. And today we look stupid.

"The thing is that now, as things start to calm down, we've analysed the situation and I'm pretty sure the team knows what went wrong. We certainly didn't get the car into the optimum working window, but I think the engineers know why."

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